BILOXI -- Long known for elaborate and beautiful Christmas programs, First Baptist Church Biloxi's minister of music Kerry Jenkins and his volunteer staff are thinking "outside the gift box" this year when it comes to delighting the community with a special Christmas program.
A musical theater and orchestral presentation of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" features Andy Cain and Melanie Williamson in the lead roles and the church's choir. Drama director, Carmen Sheets works closely with technical director Glenda McKay to time every scene just right.
The audience will be transported back to 1941, just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, where the free show will focus on an average family on one side of a split set and a war-era radio show with big band music on the other side.
The curtain will go up on the musical, written by Deborah Craig-Claar and Mark Hayes, at the church, 1560 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13.
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"This show highlights hope in our lives through Jesus Christ regardless of situations and the conditions that are happening around the world. Regardless of everything we have hope in Jesus," Minister Jenkins said.
The church asks people who want to attend to sign up on their website so the church will know how many people to expect, but people are welcome to show up at the door even if they don't have an advance ticket.
The church also invites people to participate in community-wide Christmas caroling at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and Dec. 20. Call the church for details.
Upcoming 2016 Missions for the 170-year-old church will include trips to London, Vancouver, B.C., and Clarkston, Ga. Highlights for the year in missions will be revealed at the 6 p.m. worship service on Sunday, Dec. 6..
The youth choir will traveling to St. Louis, Mo., for "Crossover" the first week of June.
The church's Christmas Eve service will be at 5 p.m. and will feature a reading of the Christmas story for children.